This weekend we pulled off our second CRAVE weekend of relevant student ministry history (that sounds official!). The band (Matt Blair led!) did great, Jay Strother did an amazing job speaking, but the real difference makers in the weekend were our lifegroup leaders. Yea, we call our adult group leaders lifegroup leaders. We love what happens in each session. We are passionate about the teaching and worship times at every retreat. We love havinf fun, but when I look back at last weekend the most important thing that happened was the relational bridges built between the teens and their lifegroup leaders. The group times that went down at CRAVE come back to Clarksville with each group. The crazy things that happened come home with each group. The ideas that God impressed on each kids heart come back with each group. What happened on retreat keeps SWIRLING back at our weekly gathering because our lifegroup leaders took the time to go with their kids to CRAVE. Thanks so much to our team for doing such a great job.
I think the most important thing every youth pastor can do is empower their adult volunteers to move from “youth worker” to youth minister. It has to be OK that students call their group leader when things go wrong. It has to be OK that our group leaders are at their ballgames and plays instead of us. It has to be OK that our group leaders have input into the direction of the student ministries we lead. Instead of trying to be “super minister” each of us responsible have to stop doing it ALL, taking all the credit, and empower the team we lead. Your team is there to serve, minister, and lead not just be bossed around doing all the junk you do not want to do! Empower your team, listen to them, serve them, pray for them, and then step back and watch God work as you multiply your ministries effectiveness! (Oh yea, your juniors and seniors can be great leaders also, we know because we have some of the best! Do not be scared to empower High school students!)